San Mig's own version of twin tower destroys Ginebra

If the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings have a twin tower in Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter, the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers have also their own version but not the towering height are they using but rather their big hearts which can be used to upset the former.

Diminutive Mark Barroca paired brilliantly with rookie backcourt mate and high leaping Justin Melton in a critical fourth-quarter run to carry the San Mig Super Coffee to a pulsating 97-89 win over Barangay Ginebra and a 2-1 lead in their PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series on Sunday at the fully-packed Mall of Asia Arena.
The cat-quick Barroca banged in 15 of his career-high 25 points in the crucial stretch of the second half, including a 25-foot three-point conversion against LA Tenorio to cap off a vicious 20-10 exchange with under two minutes to go in the final period that gave the Mixers a 93-82 lead.
“Sila yung nagdadala nung game eh, especially towards the end of the game. Sila yung nag-co-control ng tempo sa kanila,” Ginebra guard LA Tenorio said of San Mig Coffee’s two speedy guards.
“It’s a big challenge for us, guards rin ng Ginebra, to contain yung guards nila.”
The Gin Kings never got to mount a late-game rally because every time they tried the Coffee Mixers have answers courtesy of the strong showing of Barroca, Melton and old-reliable Peter June Simon.
San Mig bounce back from a subpar 29-point Game Two loss where they were blown out from the start.
“I guess we deserved a good game. I mean, to get beaten badly the last game, the guys got character to start strong, and go out and match the energy of Ginebra,” said San Mig coach Tim Cone.
The Mixers took an early 15-point lead in the first period by using their run-and-gun offense and crisp passing but found themselves trailing later on, 62-66 in the third period behind Gin Kings pivot man Greg Slaughter’s domination in the shaded lane.
Cone said he was happy to draw the much-needed energy from Barroca and Melton, who used his leaping ability and quickness to anchor several fastbreak plays for the Mixers plus some monster blocks against taller opponent. Melton hit two three-pointers for a total of six points, alongside four rebounds, three assists and three steals in just 16 minutes of play but his presence in the pivotal quarter is one of the keys to the Mixers victory.
San Mig Coffee held a distinct advantage in fastbreak points, outscoring their counterparts, 19-2, in Game Three.

“I think yun yung nakitang niyang advantage nila. Kasi we’re playing almost three bigs,” Tenorio added.
“Gusto niya mag-adjust kami sa kanila. Advantage nila yun. Siguro dapat ang isipin namin, sila ang mag-adjust sa amin hindi yung kami nang nag-adjust sa kanila. But the thing is, nanalo sila ngayon, naging successful sila.”
The 6-11 Slaughter finished with a career-high 29 points, but he could only manage four points in the critical final period because of tighter defense on him by the Mixers big men, after playing a total of 41 minutes in Game Three.
Mark Caguioa and LA Tenorio added 21 and 14 points, respectively for Ginebra, while Japeth Aguilar had a quiet 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Simon, San Mig’s most consistent player in the series, added 19 points while Marc Pingris finished with a double-double of 15 and 12 boards while holding Aguilar to an enigmatic 3-of-11 shooting from the field.
Game Four is set on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with San Mig looking to grab a commanding 3-1 series lead.
The scores:
San Mig 97 - Barroca 25, Simon 19, Pingris 15, Yap 13, Devance 8, Reavis 7, Melton 6, Mallari 2, Sangalang 2, De Ocampo 0
Ginebra 89 - Slaughter 29, Caguioa 21, Tenorio 14, Aguilar 12, Baracael 7, Ellis 3, Helterbrand 2, Mamaril 1, Ababou 0, Monfort 0
Quarterscores: 25-17, 46-47, 71-68, 97-89

--- Jay-R U. Bayon-on

San Mig's own version of twin tower destroys Ginebra San Mig's own version of twin tower destroys Ginebra Reviewed by Phil Newsome on 2/02/2014 Rating: 5

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